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From the time a baby is born, parenting begins. As they grow from infancy into toddlers and beyond, into teenagers, getting the kid involved in age-appropriate chores helps them understand important life-skills.
Kids learn by doing. Some of the benefits and values of introducing the child to easy age-appropriate chores are:
- Helping with the chores in the house makes kids develop important life skills that they will need as adults.
- Encourages the use of logic and reasoning skills to complete a task, in order to avoid the consequences of not finishing the chores.
- Kids learn about taking ownership, punctuality, owning up to their mistakes, assessing how to get the chore done, teamwork, their place, and importance in the family, honesty and a host of ethics, values, and life-skills.
- Finishing the assigned chore fills them with pride and they learn that doing so earns them a reward.
- Kids will understand the value of work and that work earns respect.
- Completing a task is an accomplishment for the child, no matter how small the task is. It fills them with pride and a sense of belonging.
- It is possible that children pick up a few life skills such as planning, budgeting, cooking, washing, and managing a home.
- Getting the children to help you with household chores will free up some of your time, help maintain a clean home and keep the kids involved in productive work.
Chore Ideas for Children of Different Age Groups
Obviously, a child cannot perform chores that an adult does. Introducing age-appropriate chores for children is a very important part of learning. The benefits of doing everyday household chores for kids is the learning that helps the child grow into a self-sufficient, balanced adult.
As the mother spends maximum time with the kid in early years, we shall discuss chores for kids in a simple age-appropriate sequence.
Toddlers (2-3 years)
Toddlers communicate and benefit most from doing easy chores. Here are some easy chores for kids to introduce to your toddler. Just showing them how to do it and making a game out them will help the bond between mother and child and train your toddler right. At this age, the focus is on teaching the child one skill at a time and not about making them self-dependent.
- Picking up toys
- Throwing diapers in the trash bin
- Changing clothes is an easy way to teach them colours, hygiene, and cleanliness
- The bathing and cleaning routine, when made interesting, is very educative for the child
- The feeding routine and table etiquette
- Supervised preparing the school bag, lunch box etc
- Dusting things and cleaning spilt water
- Making beds and putting on pillow covers
- Placing things and cleanliness, sorting and stacking the toys etc
- Help you set the table and clear the table like placing the mats, plates, and cutlery on the table
- Sort out the whites and the coloured clothes for laundry
- Dusting with a cloth
- Straightening books on a table or shelf
Pre Schoolers (4-5 years)
At this age, they are able to figure out what you need them to do, by demonstrating how to do it. Being on the verge of entering a school, they need to be able to communicate with others.
- Make the bed
- Pour milk for themselves
- Wash their hands
- Get dressed
- Pick up toys in their room
- Help set the table for meals
- Assist in cooking meals with the help of an adult
- Sort clean clothes into a pile based on the family member it belongs to
- Help you with shopping and arranging groceries
- Help you hang wet clothes to dry by handing them to you
School-age Children (6-8 years)
Introducing kids to doing easy chores is a fun way for them to learn. They are happy to learn and please their parents. Doing this repetitively turns easy chores into good habits. By the time they are six years old, they learn how to do most things by themselves. Try these with a bit of creativity.
- Bringing and helping carry things, handling and storing groceries etc
- Make their beds in the morning
- Flushing toilets and bathroom etiquette
- The good and bad touch and bathing routine
- Music, playing instruments, story-telling, dancing can be introduced to the child as a hobby
- Folding the laundry
- Bringing the newspaper in and collecting the mail
- Supervised use of the dishwasher, washing machine etc including washing their dishes in the sink.
- Feeding and walking the pet
- Watering the plants using a pail of water and a mug, planting and supervised gardening activities
- Taking the trash out
- Telephone etiquette, supervised use of television, computers etc
- Counting money and checking the bills
How to Motivate Your Child to Get Involved in Chores?
Once they start doing the chores and enter the learning process, how should we encourage and motivate them to make a habit? Here are some pointers.
- Create a chores chart for kids
- Don’t burden them with too many chores in a single day
- Give instructions that are simple and easy to follow
- Give them ample praise for sticking to the routine and completing their tasks each day
- Offer help they need and let them know that you have their back
- Introduce a reward system that they will enjoy
- Give them a mix of jobs around the house, some mundane, some exciting
- Get them interested in a hobby like music, dancing, reading and so on
- Allocate responsibilities like packing their school bags, lunch box etc
- Help them interact with pets
- Encourage them through story-telling, showing them the family albums etc
- Teach them the value of money and accountability by rewarding them with pocket money
Parenting and helping your child grow into a well behaved and good adult is a very serious business! As a parent, you spend nearly two decades equipping the kids to be self-sufficient when they grow into adulthood. Hopefully, you will start early and help inculcate these habits steadily into their routine. The idea of daily chores for kids in the house is to help them learn basic life skills that can help them survive in their adulthood. So, here’s to happy parenting!